The Boise Black Knights, a youth football team made up of 13 and 14-year-old boys, are being hailed as heroes. On their way back from a tournament, they witnessed a car crash, and they didn’t just call 911. They stopped to help and rescued both passengers, at one point lifting the car so one of them could escape, and then continued on their way home like nothing had happened.
According to the Idaho Statesman, the accident occurred on Tuesday night, when the team and coaches were driving back from winning the championship at the Bay Area Spring Football League Tournament of Champions in San Jose. When they were driving on a highway in Eastern Oregon, close to the Idaho border, the car in front of them — which contained Margaret and Alan Hardman, residents of Nevada who were traveling to Boise — veered off the road.
Orlando Clay, the father of one of the players, was driving the van behind the Hardman’s car, and knew that something had happened, though he didn’t know what had taken place right away.
“We just saw basically dust fly up. We were probably 50 to 100 meters back,” Clay said. “You could see that they had flipped.”
The car had turned over and both Alan and Margaret were trapped inside.
The Black Knights came to the rescue
The van Clay was driving contained six offensive lineman, and they immediately hopped out of the vehicle to help. Alan was in the passenger seat and had passed out during the crash, but Clay and the Black Knights’ offensive line were able to get him out of the car easily.
But Margaret was trapped. Clay and the six boys weren’t able to lift the car so she could escape. Thankfully, there were more Black Knights teammates on the way. About a half hour later, the second van of players came by and together they were able to lift the car so Margaret could crawl out.
Neither Margaret or Alan were seriously injured. The Statesman reported that the two had cuts, scrapes, and a few broken bones. A deputy from the county sheriff’s office wasn’t able to get to the scene until an hour after the accident due to car trouble, and by the time he got there, both Alan and Margaret had already been taken to the hospital in an ambulance, and both vans of young football players had continued on to their destination.
Just two days after the dramatic rescue, the Black Knights were able to visit the Hardmans, who were staying with their daughter outside of Boise. The Statesman spoke to several players about the emotional reunion.
The players, holding flowers, cookies and cards in hand, were overwhelmed with emotion; they hadn’t seen the Hardmans since they were taken away in an ambulance at the scene.
“(We wanted to see them) because they were OK. They survived,” Atonio Fifita, a Black Knights player, said. “We just wanted to see them better than they were before.”
The Hardmans were touched that the boys wanted to come and check on them, and had no idea that the story of their rescue had gone viral. Black Knights coach Rudy Jackson definitely knew that their story was in the news, as his phone has been ringing off the hook ever since. He was overwhelmed by the heroism his team of young men displayed.
“I’m more than proud. I’m at a loss for words,” Jackson said. “They got out of the car like they were supposed to do that … it’s a great bunch of kids.”
The Hardmans, thanks in no small part to the Boise Black Knights, are expected to make a full recovery.
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